14 Dec 2012

Australian High Commissioner in PNG dismisses rumour over district advisers

5:39 pm on 14 December 2012

Australia's High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea has dismissed as rumour reports that Australian advisers are to be assigned to each of PNG's 89 districts.

Reports that a plan to assign the advisers emerged at last week's Australia-Papua New Guinea ministerial forum in Port Moresby are not backed up by any inclusion in the official forum communiqué.

The High Commissioner Ian Kemish confirms that no such plan is in place.

He says while Australia considers there are ways it can help strengthen local capacity in PNG for budget management using the aid programme, it won't involve a blanket rollout of advisers in the way being bandied around in the media.

Mr Kemish says any technical assistance to support local budgetary capacity will be in line with whatever the PNG Government requests.